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    New here and considering purchase of a C15

    As I mentioned in the 'Say Hello' forum we are considering purchase of a Roma for short trips away - one or two nights, and having done a bit of research it does seem that buying one can be a bit of a nightmare - and as we cannot afford to make any expensive mistakes not having the money to put them right - I am looking for guidance and hoping to get my questions answered (or at least a fair number of them) here.

    My first experience of looking at one for sale was not very encouraging it has to be said.

    It was on offer from a local caravan/motorhome dealer at £6995 for a 1999 of 120,000 mile vintage.
    It was disappointing that the two main problems we discovered were the interior clearly having been used by smokers and the odour still lingering, and the inner skin of the front passenger door having a large section, about 3 inches in diameter, which had rusted through and was crumbling further. So we gave that a miss.

    We then saw a 1994 advertised at £5500 which looked tidy - but the pod was a cream colour whereas the cab was white, which raised questions which the seller could not answer.

    So researching further I found this site and the thread about pod changes, which probably applied to that offering, and raises my first question

    - How can the potential age of a pod be determined from the layout (I notice some posters mention that this is a give away sometimes).

    My second question is about the layout of the bed - it seems quite short to me (at 6'1" I could not stretch flat) and assuming they are all the same - have any of the taller members here found any practical answers to this?

    Next, mechanical reliability. What are the main mechanical issues that Romas of this age are likely to give, and what should I look for by way of previous servicing/repairs.

    Then, condition. At the age of the vehicles we can afford I suspect there will be bodywork issues. Which are the most common to look out for (do they rust in particular places).
    I am sure that there are likely to be some good buys out there (like the 1991 for sale here appears to be - shame it is so far away), and with the right guidance and a bit of patience hopefully we can find one.

    Thanks in advance for any input offered.

    #2
    Hi Pewe,

    Dont be totally put off by the horror stories on secondhand vehicle. I see you have been to the Romahome section - read the Stickies and also look at some of Pandabloke's posts.

    You did not mention budget etc.

    If you are as impecunious as me - you may wish to consider one of the little demountable pods. The great advantage is - if the base vehicle has a major MoT fail - the Pod simply unbolts and lifts onto another Mini Truck - (Suzuki Super Carry, Daihatsu HiJet, Paggio Porter or DFSK). That is the advantage. Spares a majopr dealer and helpfull (relatively) near you in Weston Super Mare

    Downside a very small cab - although I am a six footer and have been to Scotland and back nearly 2k miles in 2 weeks. Won't get under height barriers I understand HiLo s can get under some.

    For more info look at my posts "Clockwork Orange", DonksDads posts, Tigerfish Posts "Van with no name", Llewelyns Posts anbd some others.

    Jon

    Comment


      #3
      Hi there. My C15 has a bed extension from the factory. I assume they all came with it, but I'm not sure. Slide both the front seats forward and then look at the front of the seating in the living area either side. There should be a recess maybe 7 inches long on either side on top of the fibreglass lockers where a bed extension should slot in across the width of the van. It gives that extra few inches that a six footer like me needs. The bed extension is probably lurking in the Luton area.

      Engines are old fashioned diesels, 1.8 and later 1.9 (if you can find one) and will go to the moon and back while still returning 40 to the gallon at least. Chassis rust is the thing to look at most. Most exterior metal panels are still available at a cost or second hand, but some structural panels are nearly impossible to source, so if you prang it big style, you might not be able to repair it.

      You can look up any MOT history of any vehicle on a DVLA website, back as far as 2006. Just google something like 'vehicle MOT history' and it'll lead you to the site. You can then see what your prospective purchase failed on, previously. If it's shown lots of structural corrosion, probably best skip it.

      Now, the youngest genuine C15 Romahome will be absolutely no later than 2002 registered. Anything claiming to be younger than that WILL be a clone and best avoided. The bodies were never designed to be shifted from chassis to chassis and apparently don't take kindly to being moved. We are sure it can be done successfully, but why risk it? Also C15 Romahomes were on the 765kg chassis/cab and later van chassis were only 600kg so you lose a lot spare weight in the transfer. If in doubt post the advert you're interested in on here and we'll offer our opinions.

      Dating isn't too difficult, even from photos. All C15 pods should be dated hear the top hinge on the door frame at the rear. So if your pod says 92 and the cab is 2000 registered, don't buy it! However, a good rule of thumb for initial dating is to look at the cooker. I wrote a 'cooker dating thread' on here which is a general guide. It's not infallible, but it does help.

      http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...ght=Dating+C15

      Oh and C15 brakes are rubbish. At the best, they are barely adequate. Most will try and kill you. But it's part of the adventure. Honestly....

      The biggest thing to remember is that the youngest C15 Romahome is at least 15 years old. Most modern vehicles will have been cast aside by then. So you are essentially buying a very old vehicle. Just so you know.

      Having said that, because of the brilliant design, they still hold a premium in the market place, as you have discovered. A 1999 C15 panel van will be worth maybe £500. A decent C15 Romahome of the same vintage will be ten times that. £5000.

      Age is not necessarily the worry with a C15. Condition is everything. A decent C15 Romahome with some history, little visible rust and able to be used immediately for holidaying should be yours for £5000. Quite possibly much less. There are plenty of folk on here with much cheaper C15's than that but for a good 'un, £5000 is not unreasonable in the market place at the moment. But finding one is quite difficult, as you have found. I purchased both my reasonably sound, late-ish C15 Hylo's from private individuals, one through this forum and one through Gumtree. And I would recommend a private purchase every time rather than retail.

      Don't forget though, that the Berlingos started production in 1997 (I think?) and if you do your math, you will see that they ran side by side with the C15 for several years. Berlingo Hytops are probably better than C15 Hytops, basically cos you get the same package on a more modern designed vehicle. Hylo's are a different matter. C15 Hylo's have solid sides and the complete roof lifts, and have a useable Luton area, while Berlingo Hylo's have fabric sides to the lifting, front pivoting roof, thus little useable Luton for storage. So although the Berlingo is more modern, one could argue that C15 Hylo's are more practical. I do, in fact! The point is, Berlingo prices are starting to come down and I've seen what looked like a reasonable one for under £7000 recently, so don't dismiss them.

      Hylo or Hytop. Up to you. A Hylo will squeeze under most height barriers, if you have the nerve. Hytops won't. And thus Hytops have a bigger Luton area. In your price range, that is basically the difference.

      Now I am no expert. Definitely not. There are others on here who know far and away more than me. But I have just spent a year doing what you are doing, to find a good C15 Hylo. And I did and it was worth the wait!

      Take your time, go with your gut feeling and if you are unsure, just walk away. There will be the right van for you. I know. Believe me!

      Hope this has helped a bit in answering some of your questions.

      Panda
      Last edited by Pandabloke; 23-07-2017, 23:05.
      These broken wings are gonna leave me here to stand my ground........

      Comment


        #4
        Most things already covered. The bed extension un my 91 c15 was a hinged flap behind the front seat.
        Sesquipedalianism:-The overusage of long words.

        Comment


          #5
          Apologies for the delay in posting back - but the site keeps disappearing (no server found).

          Anyway, thanks for the responses guys - particularly regarding the bed extension which the one I viewed did not seem to have.

          @kernowjon - although I like the idea of the demountable, I'm not sure it would suit our needs
          - the only place to keep the dog would be in the pod, and he would feel isolated in there, particularly over long trips.
          - not sure if they have a bed extension, but the pod would be a bit short for me to sleep in.

          @Pandabloke - thanks for the detailed info, particularly about the MOT check. I hadn't thought of that, and already have come across one which had previous fails indicating it should be avoided (rust, suspension and headlights always being found loose.

          I will keep looking and hopefully will find one within traveling distance of Somerset, at the right price and in the right condition. In fact, I just missed one (a Bedford derivative) which appeared in very good condition, clean interior, low mileage etc - just missed it by 2 hours.

          Any other thoughts would be appreciated and here's hoping.

          Thanks again.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by pewe View Post
            Apologies for the delay in posting back - but the site keeps disappearing (no server found).

            Anyway, thanks for the responses guys - particularly regarding the bed extension which the one I viewed did not seem to have.

            @kernowjon - although I like the idea of the demountable, I'm not sure it would suit our needs
            - the only place to keep the dog would be in the pod, and he would feel isolated in there, particularly over long trips.
            - not sure if they have a bed extension, but the pod would be a bit short for me to sleep in.

            @Pandabloke - thanks for the detailed info, particularly about the MOT check. I hadn't thought of that, and already have come across one which had previous fails indicating it should be avoided (rust, suspension and headlights always being found loose.

            I will keep looking and hopefully will find one within traveling distance of Somerset, at the right price and in the right condition. In fact, I just missed one (a Bedford derivative) which appeared in very good condition, clean interior, low mileage etc - just missed it by 2 hours.

            Any other thoughts would be appreciated and here's hoping.

            Thanks again.
            Hi the reply was interesting.
            Answering about pods and dogs, Bertie our Greyhound X Saluki is quite needy. The glass has nbeen removed from the cab rear window and to be honest as soon as he is in the van, he is lying on the bed looking out of a side window.
            Bunk length - I am 6 foot - maybe 6.1 I haven't measured myself properly and find the bed (both in single mode / double mode and half and half mode ) adequate - Half and half the half of the seat / bed nearest the cab is made down in double mode extra room and the half nearest the kitchen and door area is in single / seat position.
            As Panda said buying secondhand - the first port of call is the MoT site
            https://www.check-mot.service.gov.uk/

            To be honest you have to be prepared to travel for the right van. The van I have now - the best vehicle I have bought in years came from a dealer in Waterloo Hampshire - a very genuine guy he met me at the station - I had paid a refundable 10% deposit and he held the camper for nearly a week. So I travelled over 200 miles each way. Take a look at his website memorable name Wayne Rockett he deals in cars but sometimes has a camper in his stock.
            Jon

            Comment


              #7
              Previous failures on the MOT site may actually be a good thing as it gives an indication of what has been replaced to get a pass. The advisory section may be more useful ad it indicates problems that need attention.
              Sesquipedalianism:-The overusage of long words.

              Comment


                #8
                Second that Jon,
                And it does not always indicate rectification. My van had a number of advisories re oil mist on front shocks - obviously wiped clean before next MoT as expected I am now having to replace both front shocks - almost certain a long-term problem come to a head - one too many pot-holes I fell into one about 10 inches deep
                The van is 16 years old - no rust and a good engine so I am happy.
                Major replacements to vehicle - 5 new tyres, front shocks and off side headlight
                Interior relined ceiling and replaced carpet on sides.
                Added compressor fridge, leisure battery, solar panel.

                Original price £1895 so still a bargain you get what you pay for!

                Jon

                Comment


                  #9
                  1991 hylo

                  my c15 is still for sale . its for sale on private sales section . will take 4 k for it . low mileage and mechanically sound

                  Comment


                    #10
                    If the bed extension is missing but the supports are still in place, you can make one of your own (strong piece of wood, the right length, about 6 inches wide), add some padding and staple material over it.

                    Brakes - there has been much discussion about the problem of the brakes on these older vans, but it is just a question of adjustment. I suggest you search through old threads on this topic. The brakes can be made perfectly effective, apparently.

                    On the older models, you need to be very careful about the condition of the base vehicle, particularly underneath. check carefully for bad rust. The campervan is only as good as the base vehicle!
                    Carpe diem! :)

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by NomadSue View Post
                      If the bed extension is missing but the supports are still in place, you can make one of your own (strong piece of wood, the right length, about 6 inches wide), add some padding and staple material over it.

                      Brakes - there has been much discussion about the problem of the brakes on these older vans, but it is just a question of adjustment. I suggest you search through old threads on this topic. The brakes can be made perfectly effective, apparently.

                      On the older models, you need to be very careful about the condition of the base vehicle, particularly underneath. check carefully for bad rust. The campervan is only as good as the base vehicle!

                      Sue is right of course, the brakes are indeed absolutely fine if adjusted correctly. My previous comments were very much tongue in cheek . If like me you leap from a '16 plated hatchback, straight in to the C15 and vice versa, you either almost run in to things or break your nose on the steering, initially!

                      And I concur with Sue again, the bed extension does look reasonably simple to make. I think even I could have a fair stab at one!

                      Panda
                      These broken wings are gonna leave me here to stand my ground........

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hello and welcome pewe. I have sympathy with your struggle as I am looking for a good used van too although at least I have a bigger and younger pool to choose from. We have always liked the Romahome design and execution but I don’t fit the C15 cab so looking elsewhere.
                        As any C15 Romahome is at best 15 and possibly 26 years old we have to accept that we are very unlikely to find a van untarnished by rust and many of the wearing parts will have failed and, we hope, been replaced with appropriate good quality new parts.

                        Being curious, or plain nosy, I had a look on the web for Romahomes that might suit somewhere not too far from Somerset (Glastonbury). In no particular order:

                        1) Citroen c15 hylo romahome diesel with power steering and full service history £5,995.

                        On ebay and Gumtree, in Hampshire, SO32 2BY
                        The vendor says: "This camper is in a very good condition throughout and probably the best one on the market today it really is that nice."

                        The MOT history looks good for 2017 but looking at the 2016 record there are some "Advisories" I would consider carefully and in the 2015 test it looks worse:

                        “MOT History: Vehicle CITROEN C15D CHAMP - N653LCD MOT to 1 June 2018 with no advisories. Date first used 30 August 1995

                        Test date 2 August 2016 Expiry date 20 August 2017 - Test Result Pass at Odometer reading 131,433 miles
                        Front bulkhead slightly corroded in places
                        Both front inner wings slightly corroded
                        Offside Rear Suspension component mounting prescribed area is corroded but not considered excessive (2.4.A.3)

                        Test date 17 February 2015 Test Result Fail at Odometer reading 124,022 miles
                        Rear Vehicle structure has excessive corrosion, seriously affecting its strength within 30cm of the body mountings (6.1.B.2)”


                        2) Citroen Romahome diesel campervan new mot 5 speed £5,995
                        On ebay at Blackwood UK

                        Probably S. Wales as ebay says 45 miles from Glastonbury. Vendor says:
                        "remarkable condition for its age the bodywork is excellent with no signs of rust and shiny paintwork"
                        But records show
                        “MOT History: Vehicle CITROEN C15D CHAMP Date first used 25 March 1993 - K681HVO
                        Failed MOT on 19 June 2017 - 4 "Reasons For Failure" in the sills which are structural parts.

                        Similar failures recorded in 2015 and to a lesser extent in 2014”

                        3) Citroen C15 Romahome X Reg Plus Large Awning £3,750. Penryn, Cornwall - on Gumtree
                        Vendor is more helpful and says: "Some body work needing attention."

                        “MOT History: Vehicle CITROEN C15D CHAMP Date first used 18 September 2000 - X426GAE
                        Failed test on 25 May 2017 with several corrosion related items recorded as "Reasons For Failure" and "Advisories"


                        The last example is probably too far away but I had to include it as Even with only 46,859 miles on the clock this one too has been welded although not as extensively as some of those above. We might say, “We also rust who only stand unused”:

                        4) CAMPERVAN STUNNING LOW MILEAGE EASY TO DRIVE COMPACT ECONOMICAL ROMAHOME IN SHOWROOM CONDITION, 1998, at Hessle, East Yorkshire - £7,500. - on Gumtree

                        The proud owner says:
                        “Whereas most Roma-homes can look quite sad and dated, Snowy is absolutely spotless. Her bodywork is super shiny, rust free and is in showroom condition.”

                        “MOT History: Test date 5 July 2016,. Test Result Fail. Odometer reading 46,471 miles.
                        Offside Rear Suspension component mounting prescribed area is excessively corroded sill (2.4.A.3)”


                        Although “Snowy” is not quite as perfect as her owner claims it still might be the best available.

                        The GRP body by Romahome is so well made that I think moving the body to a newer platform cab or chassis is not a bad idea in itself but depends upon how well that is done.

                        I have not set out to put you off a C15 Romahome, only to agree with you that any and all old vehicles need to be carefully inspected and a sum of money set aside to cover unforeseen repairs. It can be hard to judge how well a welded repair to a van “Chassis” has been made and whether it has been finished well to minimise re-rusting.
                        Looking at the MOT Histories of vehicles you are interested in is very useful as patterns of failure soon become apparent. Forewarned is forearmed. Leave your rose tinted spectacles at home and be prepared to walk away, as you have from the examples you quoted.
                        C15 Romahomes rust underneath and elsewhere but some areas may be more difficult to repair simply because of difficulty, time and hence expense in accessing the area. I do recall a thread about a C15 requiring substantial repairs which might be found by a search here or perhaps another member might remember the thread name?

                        They are all more or less imperfect so it is just (if only!) a case of finding a van in a condition that you are comfortable with.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Pewe,
                          If you want someone to take a look at the one in Penryn pm me. I live about 12 miles away at least I can look and say worth a look ...or ... do not waste your time.

                          Although I fear at that price you may be embarking on a restoration project.

                          Re Sills take a look at the Chitty threads
                          http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...itty-bang-bang
                          - I believe most of the sills are not structural and it is MoT testers with a lack of knowledge incorrectly failing some vans - Jeff Brown knows about this.

                          Jon

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Hello again pewe.

                            You asked about reliability. I have no direct experience with the C15 but we have had 4 cars and a van with various versions of the XUD engine and found them to be reliable. One Peugeot 504 we had did about 250k miles before it was traded in. The C15 engines are not asked to produce many horses so should last a long time if serviced correctly.
                            Our PSA cars had a few more electrical bits and it was mainly those that gave a little trouble but never caused a breakdown, for example the central locking, rev counter and the digital odometer. Others here will be able to tell you more about C15 specific problems if any.

                            One of the many good things about this forum is the search facility, much better than others I have used. I did a quick search using the word “welding” which brought up 6 pages of results. A superficial look suggested the following might contain information about where C15s rust and how difficult they could be to repair:

                            Thread: welder needed in the South West
                            http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

                            Thread: Mot work started
                            http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

                            Thread: Chassis welding
                            http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

                            Thread: How viable is rust? - Not strictly on message but may be of interest?
                            http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

                            Thread: Rusty c15 MOT fail HELP
                            http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

                            Thread: MOT of DOOM FAIL and now advised to scrap....
                            http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

                            Thread: Rust
                            http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

                            Thread: MOT fail help
                            http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

                            Thread: the demise of little roma
                            http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

                            Thread: our little girl roma
                            http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

                            Thread: RomaHome Restore
                            http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

                            Thread: Common problems of age in C15 Romas
                            http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

                            Thread: Romahome C15 'Restoration' Project - Should I?
                            http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

                            Thread: help! when is a c15d romahome expired? aimed at mechanics/welders and know-it-alls!
                            http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

                            Thread: removal of body shell from c15
                            http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

                            Hope that may be of help

                            Comment


                              #15
                              [QUOTE=Misted;187986]Hello and welcome pewe. I have sympathy with your struggle as I am looking for a good used van too although at least I have a bigger and younger pool to choose from. We have always liked the Romahome design and execution but I don’t fit the C15 cab so looking elsewhere.
                              As any C15 Romahome is at best 15 and possibly 26 years old we have to accept that we are very unlikely to find a van untarnished by rust and many of the wearing parts will have failed and, we hope, been replaced with appropriate good quality new parts.

                              Being curious, or plain nosy, I had a look on the web for Romahomes that might suit somewhere not too far from Somerset (Glastonbury). In no particular order:

                              1) Citroen c15 hylo romahome diesel with power steering and full service history £5,995.

                              On ebay and Gumtree, in Hampshire, SO32 2BY
                              The vendor says: "This camper is in a very good condition throughout and probably the best one on the market today it really is that nice."

                              The MOT history looks good for 2017 but looking at the 2016 record there are some "Advisories" I would consider carefully and in the 2015 test it looks worse:

                              “MOT History: Vehicle CITROEN C15D CHAMP - N653LCD MOT to 1 June 2018 with no advisories. Date first used 30 August 1995

                              Test date 2 August 2016 Expiry date 20 August 2017 - Test Result Pass at Odometer reading 131,433 miles
                              Front bulkhead slightly corroded in places
                              Both front inner wings slightly corroded
                              Offside Rear Suspension component mounting prescribed area is corroded but not considered excessive (2.4.A.3)

                              Test date 17 February 2015 Test Result Fail at Odometer reading 124,022 miles
                              Rear Vehicle structure has excessive corrosion, seriously affecting its strength within 30cm of the body mountings (6.1.B.2)”

                              Hi there.

                              I actually attempted to view this one before I bought Hettie.

                              It was advertised on eBay and I looked up the address of the vendor on eBay who claims to be a motorhome trader. I went unanounced to the premises in the late afternoon on a week day and the (somewhat 'back street') compound was locked up and there was no one about. A cursory glance at the vehicle through the fence appeared to show that the front bumper was half hanging off, despite the claims of it being one of the best.

                              Now, either you are a professional business selling campers during working hours, or you're not. I take no prisoners here. If you have to leave urgently, you leave a note and contact number on the gate. No excuses. Period. That's just me, but that is what I'd do. Harsh, but s good way of judging a trader in my opinion.

                              It may be a really good vehicle and the trader might be excellent. Who knows. But I didn't go back. Gut feeling and all that.

                              Might help you decide on this one. Hope it helps.

                              A very critical and exceptionally cautious Panda.
                              These broken wings are gonna leave me here to stand my ground........

                              Comment

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